Document 41028

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Briefing Paper
The current GATT Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA) which
entered into force on 1 January 1974 is due to expire
in December 1977. The parties to the agreement are currently defining their views on the desirabihty of renewal,
renegotiation or non-renewal prior to a review of the
M F A by GATT. The review will take place this autumn
and a decision in principle on the future of the M F A is
likely to be agreed before the New Year. The outcome
could be of considerable significance to less developed
countries (Idcs) although textile trade between developed
countries (dcs) and Idcs is only one part of the total and
not necessarily the most important.
Before embarking on an analysis of the textile trade it is
wise to stress that the subject is extremely complex.
There is a considerable variety of production processes,
themselves changing, stages of production (fibres, yarns,
fabrics, finishing, knitting, etc), as well as a multiplicity
of end products. Of the influences acting upon the
industry, international trade is only one among many,
including technical change, changing patterns and levels
of domestic demand, and ownership structures. Because
of the complex terminology a glossary is attached.
The paper will proceed by looking at global trends in
trade and production with the specific objective of
identifying the role of Idcs. Then the MFA restrictions
are summarised. The British textile industry is analysed
briefly because its problems are intrinsically important
and are a clue to possible negodating positions at the
M F A talks. All the major negotiating interests and Hkely
issues are then evaluated.
Trends in production and trade
Before dealing with the institutional arrangements, it is
necessary to consider the economic situation which
produced them. Although, as an interconnected system,
the textile industry does not lend itself easily to partial
analysis, the major components of change can be
idenfified as follows:
(1) There has been a shift from cotton-based products
to man-made fibres (non-synthetic, eg rayon, based
on natural cellulose; synthetics, eg nylon and polyester
based largely on petrochemicals). In 1939, cotton
accounted for 80% of total world textOe fibre consumption by weight, whereas by 1973 it accounted for only
48% (and man-made fibres 42%). Recent changes
in relative prices do not suggest strong pressures for a
reverse substitution. U K wholesale price indices for
man-made fibres registered 100.0 in 1966, 100.0 in
1972 and 151.4 in 1975 (the increase being essentially
a result of oO price increases). For raw cotton the index
registered 100.0, 131.6 and 222.3. There is, however,
some evidence of a short-term check to the encroachment on natural fibres' share of fibre consumption
in Britain and of a fashion change back to cotton (jeans,
faded denims).
(2) A second shift has been that from woven to knitted
textiles. In Britain over the decade 1966—76, production
of knitted fabrics more than doubled in quantity terms
to about 700m square metres, with particularly rapid
growth for weft knitting. Woven cotton and woollen fabrics over this period suffered a cut in production by 50%
to about 1250m square metres.
(3) Overall global production remains concentrated in
the (OECD) industrialised world - in 1974, 48.4%
of value added in the textiles industry world market and
49.5% in clothing (as against 53.4% and 62.2% in 1963).
The major change of the relative shares of production has
been towards the communist bloc - 32.2% and 37.4%
as against 27.8% and 27.8% in 1963. The developing
countries as a group remain less important as producers —
19.4% and 13.1% (as against 18.8% and 10%).
(4) The global long-term tendency in trade is for
developing countries as a group to have a growing share
of world exports, and, if clothing and textiles are combined, for the balance of trade to shift in their favour
from an overall Idc-dc trade deficit of ^ 1065m in 1960
and $280m in 1970 to a surplus of $2610m in 1974
(Table 1). Moreover, this shift is greater in quantity
terms since Idcs generally produce goods of lower unit
value. While trade between communist and western
(and Idc) countries is presently at a low level, there is a
good deal of intra-Comecon specialisation. Russia for
example runs an estimated $2 billion deficit on textiles
and clothing with its communist neighbours, the
largest of any country in the world.
The institute is limited by guarantee.
(5) It is necessary however to separate out the different
experiences of textiles and clothing:
(i) developing countries run an overall deficit with
the developed countries on textiles, which has
widened between 1970 and 1974, from $1130m to
(ii) the trade surplus for clothing items in favour
of Idcs rose from ?850m in 1970 to $3940m in 1974.
One factor influencing this has been the migration of
capital from industriaUsed countries to those where
labour is more readily available and cheaper, for export
back to the developed country markets.
(6) In particular, developing countries have obtained a
relatively small share of the import market of the
developed countries for synthetic and man-made fibres,
of yams or woven fabrics made from these fibres, and
also of knitted fabrics. The developing countries
have aclrieved a higher percentage of imports for cotton
yarn and woven fabrics and all kinds of clothing (Table 2).
(i) As for the import trade in fibres, the Idcs' contribution is negligible (1.6% of imports in 1973). For
man-made yams and fabrics there is still only a small
Idc stake in world trade (6.0%), thougli their sales
increased over twenty-fold in value in six years (196773). Taiwan is by far the largest supplier (40% of Idc
exports in 1973) followed by South Korea and Hong
Kong (23% and 13% respectively),
(ii) For cottons, the developing countries have a much
larger, and expanding, but still a minority share in
the developed countries' imports oiyam and woven
fabrics (32% in total). Britain and the United States
take disproportionately more Idc cotton textile
imports mainly from India and Hong Kong but for
Britain the share is declining, while that of the USA is
increasing. The EEC countries, however, buy from
mainly non-ldc sources (ie Southern Europe and from
within the EEC).
(iii) Finally, the Idcs are taking an increasing share of
a rapidly growing market for imported clothing products
in the United States and Europe. Britain and the USA
are among the most liberal importers.from Idcs but in
terms of the value of exports from Idcs, Germany has
replaced Britain as a market. Of the suppliers. Hong
Kong is dominant (36% of the world Idc exports; 73%
of Britain's imports) with Taiwan and South Korea
growing rapidly.
a 'sharp or substantial rise in imports' or a potential rise,
prices 'substantially below' those from comparable sources,
and 'threat of serious damage' to textile producers in the
importing country.
The agreement was renegotiated in 1974. The principle of
restriction and the criteria for disruption were retained
essentially as before. The main principle, as for the L T A ,
was that of restraint to be determined for a specific source
for a specific product. However, coverage was widened
to include man-made fibres and wool. This time the permitted growth rate was 6% in volume as against the 15%
which the Idcs asked for. There were two major innovations in addition to the greater product coverage:
(1) A Surveillance Board (TSB), was set up to arbitrate
on disputes and to assess the 'disruption' caused by
imports. It has for example been invoked by Pakistan
after slow progress in reaching an agreement with the
EEC, and against Australia after it imposed controls
(2) In order to protect the position of traditionally
more liberal importers such as the UK, 'burden-sharing'
agreements were to be worked out, notably within the
EEC, in order to bring all partner-states to a predefined
'fair share' of imports from a particular source (originally fixed for the UK at 23.5%; Germany, 28.5%;
and France 18.5%). For those cases of which Britain
was a disproportionate iinporter, eg cotton cloth from
India (up to 1974, Britain took two-and-a-half times
more than rest of the EEC together), the EEC agreement was to permit over the 1975-77 period virtually
zero growth of imports to the UK (0.5%) ranging, in
this case, up to 30% (Italy) to conform to the overall
5% criterion for the EEC. On the other hand, Britain
would need to import proportionately larger quantities
of Korean underclothes, for example (17% growth;
with under 3% growth for France, Benelux and Ireland).
The compensation from the Idc viewpoint was that existing
bilateral restrictions were to be phased out by the end of
1977, and no new ones were to be permitted except under
MFA terms.
The MFA in practice
Over the last two years a substantial number of 'voluntary'
restraint agreements under Article 4 of the MFA have been
reached, notably by the USA, Scandinavia, and the EEC.
The EEC now has restraint agreements with a variety of
countries which can be classified as follows by the level of
economic development of the textile exporter:
(1) per capita GNP over $3000 (1974): Japan;
The Multi-Fibre Agreement
Restrictions on imports from Idcs were first legitimised
under GATT with the 1962 Lx)ng Term Agreement (LTA).
These restrictions covered cotton textiles and excluded
man-made fibres (with under 50% cotton) and cottage
industry products. The aim was an 'orderly growth' of
textile imports. Subject to a minimum annual growth rate
for imports of 5%, import controls could be imposed, or
export restrictions agreed, for particular ranges of products
from particular sources. The condition was one of 'market'
disruption', the criteria being open to the interpretation
of the importer, but including (over and above 'dumping')
(2) per capita GNP $1000-3000: Yugoslavia, Hong
Kong, Singapore;
(3) per capita GNP $200-1000: South Korea,Malaysia,
Macao, Colombia, Brazil, Egypt, Taiwan;
(4) per capita GNP under $200: India, Pakistan.
Agreements are likely to flow from negotiations with
Rumania, Mexico, Thailand, Hungary and Poland. Taiwan
(which is not a member of GATT) suffered unilaterally
imposed restrictions. Lom6 signatories were exempted from
In general, the EEC has been slow in reaching agreements
because of its wish to achieve consensus and the need to
work out burden-sharing formulae, and this has allegedly
created difficulties for European manufacturers because of
precautionary stocking of imports. The country-by-country
approach to agreements has also led to precautionary
stocking from non-traditional sources, in anticipation of
future controls. However, under the M F A the EEC does
have emergency powers to stop this (Article 3) if it chose
to exercise them.
M F A restrictions do not comprise the sum of protective
devices. Britain, for example, retains restrictions on woven
cotton from a substantial number of countries, and on
items outside the EEC agreements with India and Pakistan,
and of the kind recently imposed on Eastern European
woollen suits. These controls must be subsumed in EEC
agreements before 31 March 1977. More serious for the
EEC are restricfions imposed by Britain on imports from
E F T A and Mediterranean associate countries (Spain,
Portugal, Greece, Turkey) with which the EEC has Special
Relationship Agreements. On top of this are non-tariff
barriers (purchasing policies of public bodies, subsidies to
industry under the Industry Act), anti-dumping powers,
and a comprehensive system of surveillance licensing.
Another complexity is that restrictions imposed under
the M F A overlap with the GSP; hence some Idcs face
complex 'tariff quotas' with a fixed quantity entering
duty-free, and a further amount dutiable up to a quota
ceiling. Before evaluating the M F A in the present
context, a closer look wdU be taken at the problems
and policies of the United Kingdom.
The British industry and trade
In addition to local interest, the British situation is worth
reviewing since Britain has traditionally been regarded
as one of the more liberal importers (though in per capita
terms less so than Sweden or Canada) and more orientated towards developing country supplies (though, less in
percentage terms than the USA or Japan). Since EEC
accession, however, Britain's position appears to have
changed under pressure of events. Prior to 1974 controls
were seen essentially as a temporary device imposed
reluctantiy to ease a process of structural adjustment in
the industry, to help the better parts to survive. Only
cotton cloth enjoyed comprehensive protection. Since
then Britain has been more to the fore in seeking restrictive poUcies under the M F A , and specifically in resisting
quota increases and retaining restraints not admissible
under the M F A until the last moment. It is widely beHeved
that Britain will demand a more restrictive revision of
the M F A , and the British government is under pressure,
which it has so far resisted, to act unilaterally against
textile and clothing imports. With an estimated textile
domestic consumption growth of 0.75% pa there is furthermore a strong dependence on 'burden sharing' devices.
A few facts explain the background to this situation.
(1) As Table 3 shows, the overall balance of trade
on manufactured yams, fabrics and clothing rose
from +£52.5m in 1968 to +£134.1m in 1970, and
then declined by stages to - £ 2 2 4 . 2 m in 1975
( - £ 7 4 . 9 m in first quarter of 1976).
(2) However, within this overall figure man-fnade
fibres showed a fluctuating but generally steady
surplus despite growing import penetration, mainly
from the USA. Textile yams and fabrics showed a
general surplus, but one sharply reduced in 1975, and
a deficit in the first half of the 1976: clothing (including knitwear and 'made-up' clothes) represented
the most consistent and precipitate decline from
near balance in 1970 to a deficit of £239m in 1975,
accounting for most of the overall deficit. Industrial
textiles and carpets show a substantial surplus.
(3) In terms of the origin of the U K imports (Table 4)
for textiles, yarns and fabrics, the share of EEC supplies
increased from 38.4% to 43.3% from 1966 to 1975,
and of E F T A from 9.4% to 21.2%. The deficit on EEC
trade (£63m in 1975) was the major negative item on
the trade balance. Developing countries' share of textile
imports fell from 33.4% to 18.3% of total imports over
the decade; India's drastically from 11.9% to 2.8% (a
fall in money value, let alone in real or relative terms),
and Hong Kong's share from 11.3% to 5.9%. This illustrates the effectiveness, as well as the discriminatory
nature, of cotton textile import controls. By contrast
Portugal increased its share of the market from 3.1%
to 7.5%, and Austria fiom 1.9% to 5.4%. Supplies to the
U K were in effect diverted from India, Pakistan and
Hong Kong to Europe without benefiting the overall
trade balance. The developing countries actually ran a
deficit (£17m) on textile trade with Britain in 1975
(though 1976 trends indicate a likely reversal).
(4) Clothing imports from Idcs rose from 46.4% of the
total to 50.5%, mainly from Korea (zero to 8.3%) and
Taiwan (zero to 5.7%) at the expense of Hong Kong
(from 44.9% to 32.7%); but even bigger relative gains
were registered by E F T A countries (7.2% to 15.2%)
notably Portugal (zero to 5.3%). Britain's deficit with
Idcs on clothing was £216m in 1975 which accounts
for most of Britain's clothing trade deficit. There are
however signs of greatly improved British export
performance by high value added, high quality clothing
in 1976.
However, it is wise to remember that we caimot consider
these sectors entirely in isolation. Increasing difficulties in
the domestic finished products industry, for example, will
(at least in the short run) affect fibre producers, a factor
which explains the present problems of Courtaulds.
Before considering the effect of imports on production
it is worth noting that one favourable consequence of
Britain's 'openness' to imports is that consumers have a
greater choice of cheaper textOe products than ahnost
anywhere else in the developed world. This is not devoid
of implications for anti-inflation policy.
The difficulties of the British industry are normally
measured in tangible terms of loss of employment in the
industry. It lost 166,000 jobs in the period 1970-75 in
textiles and clothing over and above 140,000 in the
previous five years. Until recently, however, this did not
show up as above-average net unemployment in the
affected areas (many of which suffered labour shortage
and as a consequence attracted Asian immigrants). There
are several reasons for the general decline in employment:
(1) productivity raising capital investment and technical progress (such as the 'knitting revolution'). Much
of this improvement has been promoted by government
and the chemical companies, notably Courtaulds and
ICI, which have come to dominate not only fibre
production but also much of the textile industry. Given
the slow growth of output, the rapid growth of productivity (above the average of British manufacturing
industry) has created redundancies;
(2) cycUcal fluctuations in aggregate demand both at
home and overseas. This has been a serious factor,
especially in increasing unemployment and short-time
working in the 1974-76 period. Over-reaction at the
various stages of the industry to demand changes seems
to create a more unstable stock and output cycle than
for many other industries;
(3) growing 'import penetration'. This concept, while
frequently employed, has emotive overtones. Exports
are excluded from the arithmetic.-Moreover by focusing on one type of import, the potential production of
exports and import substitutes from the resources freed
is ignored. Even within the textile and clothing industry
it is possible to see the broader ramifications of speciahsation. Imports may well earn Britain foreign
exchange through exports of synthetic fibres, dyes,
freight charges, and above all textile machinery, which
had a trade surplus in 1975 of £147.5m, aknost all on
trade with the Third World. In order to offset at least
some of the bias implicit in the concept of import
penetration, it is set alongside the role of exports in
relation to trade and the trade balance (Table 5).
It is difficult to separate the relative significance of these
factors, but circumstantial evidence suggests that imports
are not necessarily the most important. For example,
for woollen and worsted goods 40% of the 1966 labour
force had been shed by 1975, while trade remained in
surplus and 'import penetration' remained very low; the
explanation being a combination of labour-saving productivity improvements and a general fall in the demand
for woollens. Cotton textiles has also lost 40% of its
manpower since 1966. Import penetration has certainly
been high in this sector, but a substantial measure of
employment deterioration can be attributed primarily to
restructuring and the efficiency-raising investment.
For 'made-up' clothing there has been a significant rise in
'import penetration' and a decline in the trade balance
despite rapid export growth since 1970/71. This probably
explains in substantial part the decline in employment
in this industry since 1972, which had hitherto been more
stable than in textiles. Competition from imports has also
carried particular problems in the knitwear goods industry
of the East Midlands, as well as the clothing industry per se;
the NEDC Industrial Strategy document on knitwear
'bitterly regretted' the high quota levels agreed under the
But it is important to distinguish symptom and cause.
According to the NEDC Clothing Industrial Strategy document the industry has 'very low average productivity'
(50% of the manufacturing average) — 'low wage levels' —
'low levels of investment' (per capita investment, 20% of
manufacturing average) and 'fragmentation'. This could
be remedied in part by government-inspired restructuring,
towards which £20m has been granted, but NEDC concedes that 'even with the most advanced production
methods the cost structure is such that it is not possible
to produce garments such as shirts and men's trousers
at prices competitive with . . . . i m p o r t s . . . . ' . If this is
so, then temporary protection to ease structural changes
and encourage investment will not save substantial parts
of the industry; the choice is whether or not consumers
should pay, permanently, a higher cost for a basic necessity in order to retain these lines of production in Britain.
Because of difficulties faced by the industry its representatives, acting through NEDC's, have made a series of
demands for tightened protection. Most recently (in a
joint memo in mid-October) the CBI and TUC asked for
short-term safeguard measures to be used to the fullest
extent and long-term measures to tighten the M F A . The
government position — so far — is that present levels of
protection are more comprehensive than any previously
employed and that adequate safeguard clauses already
exist to protect threatened interests. These arguments
will now be examined in the context of renegotiation.
Issues in renegotiation
There are four basic options for the MFA negotiations;
(1) renewal on present terms, the position broadly
favoured by the United States and Western Germany;
(2) renegotiation on more liberal terms, the position
of Idcs. A demand for complete free trade was incorporated in the Manila Declaration of the 'Group of
77' (though given less emphasis at UNCTAD IV
in Nairobi);
(3) renewal on more restrictive terms, as demanded
by the European textile industry (through its federation, COMITEXTIL, and at national level);
(4) non-renewal, a Ukely outcome if there is a failure
to reconcile the groups favouring (2) and (3). This
would in practice mean a reversion to nationally imposed quotas.
The developing countries, on a general level, argue that the
principle of trade restrictions is discriminatory against
them — since this is one of the few areas of international
trade where they have achieved some degree of success and
have a demonstrable comparable advantage in the more
unskilled-labour-intensive processes. They argue (and these
arguments would probably be accepted in Germany,
Sweden or Holland) that such liberalisation would also
favour the developed countries as their labour moves into
high productivity and high wage employment, and since
imports would help restrain prices. Moreover, they argue
that any dislocation caused by structural adjustment could,
with proper planning and retraining, be eased on the
Swedish model. Any abuses such as dumping could be
dealt with by existing anti-dumping measures; and there are
also emergency safeguard measures under GATT (Article
19), which may be strengthened in the present Tokyo round
(these do not at present apply against imports from a
particular source). The developing countries are likely to
put their demands in the context of UNCTAD, the
Paris 'North-South dialogue' * and the whole multilateral
tariff bargaining process.
The Idcs are likely to seek:
(1) a higher rate of growth of permitted imports
than 6%;
(2) commitment to a phasing out of controls; and
(3) concessions on points of interpretation, regarding
access and definitions of 'disruption', and the workings
of the Textile Surveillance Board.
However, their bargaining power is likely to be diminished
by the threat of a return to the system of national restrictive policies; by the political weakness of the three leading
and relatively high income 'third world' textile exporters
- Hong Kong (a colony), Taiwan (a non-member of GATT),
or, like South Korea, of questioned political legitimacy;
and by the existing preferential treatment accorded to
Lome countries, which divides the Group of 77.
The developed countries separately or collectively have
some specific demands which they are likely to press for.
In addition to a general preference for a lower import
growth rate and a longer time horizon for controls the
points are:
(1) A recession clause in the MFA. Several developed
countries argue that the 6% import growth figure is
unreahstic for a period of slack in consumption and
was based on 1973 conditions, now changed considerably. Moreover, it is claimed that high levels of import
penetration in a recession tend to have an irreversible
'ratchet' effect by estabUshing a permanent 'base' for
these imports for the following upswing. This would be
met by a clause which cut import growth rates for
recession periods. However, the problems are considerable. How could a 'recession' be defined? How could
it be possible to prevent abuse and escalating competitive retaliation using the same recession as a justification (eg against British wool and artificial fibres)? How
would the mechanism be made reversible for a boom
period, especially if the overall growth figure is to be
(2) Quota globalisation to meet cumulative disruption.
Most developed countries are concerned that despite
substantial country and product coverage there are
several significant uncontrolled sources of import supply
which disrupt orderly market growth, notably:
— Lome producers (Ivory Coast, Sudan and others
are building up textile capacity);
— small unrestrained sources, in Latin America, Asia
and Eastern Europe;
— sources which have a Special Relationship Agreement with the EEC; notably Greece, Turkey,
Spain and Portugal;
— other developed countries (the EEC, USA);
— indirect trade through the EEC (where the EEC
does not use its powers under the MFA).
These unregulated sources of supply present a particular
* ODI produced Briefing Papers on UNCTAD and the Paiis
'North-South' Conference earlier this year.
problem since the EEC would find it politically very difficult to impose restraints on Lome countries or on Special
Relationship Agreement cases, and they are virtually
inconceivable against the USA or by EEC members
against others.
Were the overall quotas to apply only to existing restrained
imports plus some small but growing suppliers (which
would somewhat diminish the value of the exercise), there
would still be problems of allocating quotas within the
global figures. If within the global figures there were a freefor-all, 'super-competitive' suppliers like Hong Kong would
probably eliminate other competition. In recognition of
this problem, the EEC has (in GSP discussions as well as
in this context) begun to discuss the possibilities of
discriminating against these sources in favour of countries
like India and Pakistan. Whatever formulae were devised,
in practice 'globalisation' would require a complex system
of management of bilateral arrangements within global
figures (comparable to the use of 'butoirs' (quotas) within
GSPs). It would also require a reconsideration of burden
sharing arrangements within Europe which are presently
based on import shares from a particular source.
(3) Sensitive products - import penetration. A t present,
the 6% growth requirement applies in principle to all
textile products and to all sources (unless specific
burden sharing agreements can be negotiated, or special
terms for a particular sub-product). Some countries
are concerned that this formula works to the detriment
of countries and industries which already suffer a high
degree of 'import penetration', since import growth
rates substantially greater than consumption pose the
threat of aU growth of consumption going to imports.
They wish to make the restraint agreements more
selective on the American model to give greater protection to industries under greatest 'threat' from imports.
We have seen in the case of the United Kingdom how
the argument about 'import penetration' has gathered
considerable momentum.
Unfortunately the concept defies all economic logic implicit
in the concept of specialisation. Growing import penetration could well be compatible with growing export
competitiveness as a result of specialisation within a particular product category (or even of the same product,
where quality, style, and other taste factors are involved).
In the case of Britain there is evidence that this has happened within the category of woollen and worsted yarns
and fabrics; and in others (eg continuous filament yarn)
a large and growing import penetration may well still be
accompanied by a trade surplus. To seek to freeze or
control this changing pattern of specialisation on the basis
of an arbitrary level of 'import penetration', defined at
an arbitrary level of statistical disaggregation, for a particular point of time, would be to reduce considerably the
role for trade in promoting specialisation (while nonetheless retaining unlimited opportunities for domestically
induced structural change deriving from technical progress
and changes of tastes). Not only does this diminish the
gains from specialisation in general, but would obUge the
developing countries to turn increasingly to less protected
products, for which they may have an absolute cost
advantage (eg synthetic fibre manufacture) but which are
a negation of their comparative advantage (which probably
lies in labour-intensive clothing manufacture). The
Glossary of terms
developing countries and developed country consumers
might well regard this as retrograde, though it has
precedents in the whole M F A philosophy and specifically
in the 1962 version which restrained cotton textiles but
not synthetics.
COMITEXTIL: Committee of European Textile
GSP: Generalised System of Preferences.
The M F A is likely to be renewed in broadly its present
form. A fundamental shift from trade regulation to free
trade is inconceivable. A major tightening of the terms
is also difficult to envisage. In any event there will be
serious problems for the British government. On one hand
it is under strong domestic pressure to obtain tighter
restrictions and on the other already under attack because
of its negative attitude to the demands of the Idcs as
part of their 'New International Economic Order', and
because of expectations which it has created that it will
act as a generally liberalising, not a protectionist
influence within the EEC.
Knitwear: garment knitted straight from thread, omitting
weaving stage.
Lome countries: signatories to the Lome Convention of
1975 between the EEC and 46 developing countries.*
Manila Declaration: document prepared by Third Ministerial
Meeting of the Group of 77, Manila, January 1976.
NEDC: National Economic Development Council.
Tokyo Round: the present round of multilateral trade
negotiations in Geneva.
Woven cloth: fabric prepared by weaving thread.
Yarn: spun thread prepared for knitting or weaving.
November 1976
* See ODI Briefing Paper on Lome, 1975.
Table 1.
Global trade balances in textiles and clothing (Sm)
All products
with Idcs
with all
+ 1290
with dcs
with all
Source: ComitextilBulletin 76/2.
All products
Table 2.
Value and share of developing countries' imports in OECD countries (Sm)
Developed (OECD)
W Germany
Cotton yarn
and woven
262.1 (25.7%)
84.2 (52.7%)
2.6 (5.4%)
6.7 (8.4%)
84.5 (48.0%)
367.8 (28.6%)
89.5 (48.8%)
12.1 (15.0%)
30.6 (18.9%)
74.5 (48.0%)
872.5 (32.0%)
198.3 (60.5%)
34.8 (13.1%)
72.3 (19.2%)
121.1 (41.5%)
Man-made yarn
and woven
14.4 (1.6%)
4.5 (4.7%)
0.2 (-)
0.9 (0.4%)
2.2 (2.0%)
58.4 (2.5%)
12.4 (5.7%)
2.1 (1.0%)
4.0 (1.0%)
8.9 (4.5%)
301.2 (6.0%)
23.6 (5.7%)
10.4 (3.1%)
27.8 (3.1%)
50.6 (10.3%)
576.2 (23.9%)
261.4 (43.3%)
2.6 (2.0%)
83.6 (26.3%)
100.5 (45.5%)
1267.7 (26.8%)
640.8 (56.2%)
17.5 (6.9%)
199.7 (20.8%)
134.5 (42.5%)
3729.7 (36.2%) 1500.7 (69.2%)
91.6 (15.6%)
710.5 (27.9%)
414.2 (50.7%)
Idcs include Yugoslavia.
Cotton yarn and woven fabrics, Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) 6513, 6514, 652.
Man-made yam and woven fabrics, SITC 6516, 6517, 6535, 6536.
Clothing, SITC 841, 842.
Source: OECD, Trade Series C, 1973, Vol II.
Table 3. British textiles trade balance (£m current prices)
1976 (1st quarter)
yarns, fabrics
etc(Div 65)
(Div 84)
Source: Trade ami Industry, 30 July 1976.
Table 4. Source of British imports
Textiles (SITC 65)
Clothing (SITC 84)
of which
W Germany
( 6.3)
( 6.9)
( 9.8)
( 9.2)
( 1.4)
( 8.7)
( 2.0)
( 8.7)
of which
( 9.4)
( 7.2)
( 3.1)
( 3.8)
( 7.5)
( 6.3)
( 2.9)
( 5.3)
( 1.8)
( 2.5)
( 1.9)
( 1.4)
( 3.4)
( 6.9)
( 2.9)
( 1.4)
( 2.5)
, 12
( 1.7)
( 2.9)
( 1-0)
( 2.8)
( 5.9)
( 2.2)
( 6.3)
( 5.7)
Developing Countries
of which
Hong Kong
S Korea
Source: NEDC, Textile Trends, 1966-75.
Table 5.
UK import penetration and exports
Man-made Fibres
of which
continuous filament
woollen yarn
of which
cotton cloth
woollen cloth
End products^
of which
made up clothing^
knitted garments*
Import Penetration'
Exports as % of
Manufacturers' Sales
45.1 (1974)
21.3 (1974)
18.8 (1974)
27.8 (1974)
13.1 (1974)
19.1 (1974)
25.3 (1974)
Trade Balance (£m)
-9.7 -194.3
-9.9 -170.0
imports as % of home consumption (ie production plus imports less exports).
^ import penetration and exports' relation to sales measured in current money values; otherwise quantities for items
except end products.
^ within this substantial sector it is worth noting that the import penetration (1975) for particular items is blouses (55%),
men's and boys' trousers (50%), men's and boys' coats (53%), woven shirts (62%).
'* ditto for knitted shirts (68%), knitted dresses (24%), knitted outwear(28%).
Source: NEDC, Textile Trends, 1966-75.